First aid kit for Seniors

It is important to have a First aid kit at home for elders. The First aid kit needs to be customised for the elder. The instruments should be easy to use and be adaptable to the unique frailties in the elders. The post outlines a few objects from the First aid box that are essential and customisable.

Essentials in a Customised First aid kit

Scissors 

They are a must-have in any First aid kit. They are used to cut gauze, surgical tape, medicine strips, etc.. There are many scissors in the market customised for your senior. For example, the Push down table top scissors which gives the senior an alternative to the table top instead of his fingers when using the scissors. In the market is also a Dual control training scissors that is designed to provide better grip.

Band-aids

The Band-aid is one of the most versatile objects in your First-aid kit. Seniors tend to be prone to cuts and bruises. These injuries, although minor, need attention. The skin of the seniors is not the same as that of ours. Theirs is more fragile and cannot take the toughness of a regular Band-aid. Therefore, you would need to pick Band-aids customised for seniors. It is also important that one stocks Band-aids for different parts of the body. This will ensure that it effectively covers the injured area.

Antiseptic wipes and creams  

A senior’s wound could get infected easily. These infections if not paid attention to could escalate the problem. Another source of infection is the person administering first aid. It is therefore important that the First-aid kit has an antiseptic. It could be in the form of wipes or cream.This is useful in two ways:

Firstly, that the wound can be cleaned before it is covered with band-aid or gauze and Secondly to clean one’s hands before treating the wound. 

Cold packs and thermal patches

Cold packs are effective at reducing swelling and numbing pain. The sooner you apply an ice pack on your sprain, the sooner you will achieve some relief. That translates to the necessity of having one handy. These need to be accessible and within reach. Thermal patches can increase blood flow and restore movement to the injured area. One can easily make a pack too. You just need to sew some rice in a cotton pouch and freeze or heat it to the required temperature as and when you need it.

Latex gloves  

Latex gloves help when treating wounds where there is discharge like blood. The use of gloves prevents the wound from getting infected. At times it also plays the role of a comfortability factor. It puts the injured at ease and helps the administrator if he is squeamish. It is recommended that one uses disposable gloves, as they will be more sterile.

Medicines and ointments 

Seniors usually ingest quite a few medications. These are usually prescribed to them by their physician. The senior could use the First aid box to store medicines which would come of use when the situation warrants it. These over the counter medicines help the senior with small discomforts like painkillers, flu medication, etc.. Medicines are given in different dosages according to the physical condition of the senior. Therefore, one needs to include the dosage that is prescribed. It would also be important to include instructions, if any. We suggest that the medicines be put in a senior friendly medicine container with labels on them that state the name of the medicine, and its use. Also, include any warning or adverse reactions it may have.

Information and Instructions

The senior might have a preference for a particular doctor. This information could also be a part of the kit. Also include phone numbers for emergency contact, pharmacy, and insurance information. A short set of instructions could also be included, if the senior needs special care. These information and instructions need to be clear and written in a concise manner. They should be self explanatory and direct the person who is using the kit.

Special instruments

Seniors face fluctuations in their Blood pressure and Sugar levels, these could cause medical emergencies. The Blood pressure monitor, oximeter, blood sugar meter and/or AED (Automated External Defibrillator) could also be kept handy.

Documents

In some cases, you may include medical forms such as living will, DNR, or advance directives.

A First aid kit for a senior needs to be customized to suit their needs. The above recommendations can be further fine tuned and specific purchases

can be made. Of great importance is the location of the First aid box. It needs to be easily accessible and should be able to reach with ease when needed. It should be strategically placed in such a way that any person who responds to the situation can find it. Most importantly, it has to be up to date. Many of the items in the First aid kit come with an expiration date. One needs to be proactive in checking and ensuring that all the medicines are viable. The First aid kit needs to be your first go to in case of any medical incident. When the First aid kit is put together, the senior’s requirements need to be taken care of.

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